All of us at Suffolk Young People’s Theatre were shocked and saddened at the untimely death of our much-loved musical director and friend James Recknell. James can be credited with stepping in to help save our organisation after a couple of years of instability. It turned out to be an association that would last for many years and take in the continuing development of SYPT in giving young people the opportunity to take up the challenge of rehearsing a full musical in just two weeks and staging it at the Theatre Royal. It’s a challenge that requires a particular range of skills from teachers and students alike. I first worked with James in 2010 on the musical “Kiss Me Kate” and subsequently we went on to deliver another seven musicals across a range of genres. During that time James was a wonderful colleague to work with, open to new ideas, calm and unflustered no matter what the impending crisis might be. I know all the students he worked with both liked and respected him and benefited hugely from his expertise. Once I had stepped down as director James continued to work with the new team on both “Footloose” and “Legally Blonde” with characteristic success. He will be greatly missed by all who worked with him either as a teacher or as a student. His will be a lasting legacy with “Suffolk Young People’s Theatre” and he will be sadly missed.
Chair of Trustees